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Margaret Atwood on The Gift that keeps on giving

Should works of art be bought and sold like potatoes? Or are they, like the best presents, items on which no real price can be placed?

By Margaret Atwood   Winter Special

Margaret Atwood considers Lewis Hyde's "The Gift." Photo: Prospect composite/Arthur Mola/Shutterstock

Gifts pass from hand to hand: they endure through such transmission, as every time a gift is given it is enlivened and regenerated through the new spiritual life it engenders both in the giver and in the receiver.

And so it is with Lewis Hyde’s classic study of gift-giving and its relationship to art. The Gift moves like an underground current among artists of all kinds, through word of mouth and bestowal. It is the one book I recommend…

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